Practical tips on presenting to your board of directors

As a business leader, you may find yourself presenting to your board of directors on a regular basis. Whether you’re delivering an update on the company’s progress, seeking approval for a new initiative, or asking for funding, your board presentation is an important opportunity to make your case and get the results you need.

Woman presenting in front of white board

Setting up the presentation

The first step in preparing your presentation is to understand the needs and expectations of your audience. Once you know what they're hoping to get out of the meeting, you can start to put together your material.

1. Know your audience

Before you begin preparing your presentation, take the time to understand who your audience is and what they're looking for.

  • What are their priorities?
  • What concerns do they have?
  • What information will they need to make a decision?

Keep in mind that most directors are on a tight schedule, so you'll need to be concise and to the point.

2. Make a strong opening

You only have a few minutes to make a good impression, so make sure your opening is strong and engaging. Start with a powerful statement or an interesting story that will grab their attention and give them a taste of what's to come.

3. Keep it simple

When it comes to board presentations, less is more. Focus on delivering a clear, concise message that your audience can easily understand.

4. Focus on the key points

With a limited amount of time, you'll need to be selective about what you include in your presentation. Focus on the key points that you want to get across, and make sure they're well-organized and easy to follow.

5. Get your facts straight

When you're presenting to your board, it's important to make sure that all of the information you're sharing is accurate. Make sure you've done your homework and double-checked your facts before you get in front of the group.

6 Avoid assumptions or making statements you can't back up

Be careful not to make assumptions about what your audience knows or doesn't know. And, avoid making statements that you can't back up with data or evidence. If you're not sure about something, it's better to leave it out than to risk losing credibility with your audience.

7. Use visuals wisely

Board members are busy people, so make it easy for them to digest your information by using visuals. Charts, graphs, and infographics can help to illustrate your points and make them more memorable. However, be sure to use visuals wisely – don't overload your presentation with too many, or make them so complex that they're difficult to understand.

8. Be prepared for questions

No matter how well you think you've presented your case, there's always a chance that board members will have questions. Be prepared to answer them by knowing your material inside and out. And, if you don't know the answer to a question, be honest and say so. Then, offer to follow up with the information later.

9. Practice, practice, practice

A successful presentation isn't just about the content - it's also about your delivery. Practice your presentation several times before you deliver it, so you can be confident and polished when the time comes.

During the presentation

When you are giving a presentation to your board of directors, it is important to engage them throughout. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

1. Make eye contact

Make eye contact with each member of the board during your presentation. This will help to ensure that you have their attention and that they are following along.

2. Use body language

Emphasize points you are making with your body language. Gestures and expressions can go a long way in conveying your message and keeping everyone engaged.

3. Keep your presentation interactive

Ask questions of the board members, get their input on decisions, and make sure they feel like they are part of the process.

4. Be aware of your tone

Avoid sounding monotone or like you are reading from a script. Instead, try to sound enthusiastic and passionate about your topic.

After the presentation

Once you've delivered your presentation, there are still a few things you can do to make sure it was successful. Here are some tips:

1. Follow up with any promised information

If you said you would provide additional information or data, be sure to follow through. This will show that you are reliable and that you take your commitments seriously.

2. Ask for feedback

Don't be afraid to ask the board members for their feedback on your presentation. This can help you to improve for next time and ensure that you are meeting their needs.

3. Thank them for their time

Be sure to thank the board members for their time and attention. This is a courtesy that will be appreciated, and it can help to build goodwill moving forward.

4. Follow-up on any to-do points

If there were any action items or decisions that came out of your presentation, be sure to follow up and make sure they are taken care of. This will show that you are on top of things and that you take the board's input seriously.

Things to take-away

  • Presenting in front of your board can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be.
  • Remember to practice beforehand, engage the group during the presentation, and follow up afterwards.
  • With careful planning and execution, your next presentation is sure to be a success.

About me

Hi, I’m Lilian. I’m currently the head of a design team in a digital agency in Amsterdam and love to write about leadership and share tips based on my experience over the past couple of years.

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I decided to start this blog as a way to share my thoughts on leadership. I’m passionate about helping others learn more about leadership and how to be a good leader, so I hope this blog will be helpful to those who are looking for tips and advice on leadership.

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